5 Things You Need to Know About Insulin-Dependent Diabetes & Illness
Vigilance is the watchword for caregivers of people with insulin-dependent diabetes. What do you need to know when illness strikes?
The body requires more energy when it is sick. That energy fuels the immune system’s fight against infection. People who are sick are often not interested in eating. With type 1 diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes and illness, there is a risk of not maintaining enough glucose in the blood for this to occur. This decrease in food intake can lower blood sugar and increase the risk of fat burning. Fat burning leads to ketone production and ketoacidosis–a serious, life-threatening condition.
When your loved one with insulin-dependent diabetes is sick, its important to take blood sugar readings more frequently. You should also monitor ketones. Ketones are the byproduct of fat burning: when the body goes into “starvation” mode cells begin to burn fat. In time, the tissues of the body and the blood stream become acidic. According to Mayo clinic, untreated diabetic ketoacidosis can be fatal. Remember, diabetic ketoacidosis can occur in a person with normal blood sugar readings. Monitor ketones every 6 to 8 hours using home blood and urine testing kits.
Offer your loved one lots of fluids with simple, easy to digest carbohydrates in them. It’s important to drink lots of fluids when sick with stomach illness and respiratory illness. For stomach illness, fluids are lost through vomiting and diarrhea. Increasing fluids during respiratory illness thins mucus. Ginger ale, apple or pear juices are all good choices. Avoid milk and caffeine. Warm b Continue reading